What if the Red Sox Traded Their Justin Upton – Will Middlebrooks?
Let me start by writing: I am not advocating this trade. But thought it would be a fun exercise.
What if the Red Sox traded their “Justin Upton” – a young, talented offensive player who is under team “control” for a number of years?
That player is Will Middlebrooks – who Keith Law placed #22 on his Top 25 players under 25 years old list.
Let’s look at what Seattle was supposed to have offered to Arizona for Upton – yes I know Upton is considered better than Middlebrooks. But Middlebrooks is under control for more years than Upton – Middlebrooks is a free agent in 2019, Upton in 2016 (advantage Middlebrooks).
The rumored players that were headed from the Mariners for Upton were four young players one of right-hander Taijuan Walker and lefties Danny Hultzen and James Paxton, plus infielder Nick Franklin, lefty Charlie Furbush, and right-hander Stephen Pryor.
Middlebrooks would be a good add for Seattle – even though they have Kyle Seager (move him to left). The Mariners need offense.
So let’s look at this deal from the Red Sox perspective.
If the deal includes Walker, that’s a plus. Boston needs a potential number one starter. And Walker fills that profile.
Next is Franklin. The Sox don’t need a shortstop prospect (hopefully, if Xander Bogaerts comes through).
But acquiring talent is good.
If Franklin is in the deal – trade him.
Detroit needs a shortstop. Deal Franklin to the Tigers for third base prospect Nick Castellanos (to replace Middlebrooks).
Miguel Cabrera is locked in at third for the Tigers.
Then, let’s figure Upton is more “proven” than Middlebrooks – so Boston only gets Pryor, with the Red Sox also throwing in a youngish bullpen arm with less upside than Pryor.
So the trade is: Middlebrooks and someone like Chris Carpenter or Alex Wilson for Walker, Franklin (then dealt for Castellanos) and Pryor.
If you are the Red Sox, would you make this trade? Do you think Seattle would?